For most of us, pumpkin is either a big orange gourd to be carved into a lame ghost face or some nebulous thing scooped from a can to make some bread or pie. Or perhaps for a certain few, pumpkin is necessarily followed with glee by the words “spiced latte,” and I’d like to be the first to tell those people to stop sullying pumpkin’s good name with that silly gimmick. Can we just call it what it is: a cinnamon and nutmeg spiced, corn syrup-infused stroke of marketing genius and move on? Okay, I’ll stop.
So clearly, canned pumpkin is available year round. As such, something like pumpkin pie could totally be a June dessert. Or we could celebrate Easter with pumpkin bread instead of some bullshit mayo-filled deviled eggs created as a diabolical method for disposing of egg hunt spoils.
But no, in this modern world, for purely subjective reasons, we do not serve pumpkin bread in the middle of spring. Pumpkin is a fall food, goddammit, and that’s simply the way it is. It pairs best with short days and wearing scarves and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Consequently, it seems, over the past couple years, I’ve adopted a burgeoning tradition of random Sunday morning pumpkin-themed breakfast treats. Not sure how this began, but it’s a nice diversion from the doldrums of perennial breakfast fare.
Last year witnessed my first pumpkin waffles, and they were perfectly nice, but they didn’t quite do it for me. Perhaps they called for much beaten egg white, which lent them the wrong weight and texture? I can’t be expected to recall exactly what made them less than exceptional; I simply remember they weren’t.
So this year, I went looking for a new recipe, and let me just pat myself on the back for such exceptional googling skills because the one I chose was superb. Though a second pat on the back is in order for electing to make a bourbon butter syrup with which to top them because if anything can make pumpkin better, it’s boozy, buttery, sticky nectar of maple.
So search in your sock drawer for last year’s scarf, take another Prozac to steel yourself against the oncoming depression, and fire up the waffle iron!
Pumpkin waffles with bourbon butter maple syrup
Adapted from foodival.
You could serve these puppies with plain ol' maple syrup or your favorite fruit topping, but bourbon and pumpkin were meant to be, so go the extra mile with the topping. It only takes about five minutes.
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 egg, seperated
- ½ cup milk
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 cup butter, melted
- Pre-heat waffle iron to high, reducing to medium once pre-heated.
- Mix dry ingredients, including spices, in one large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin puree, milk, egg yolk, brown sugar, and melted butter, stirring to combine. Add the dry mixture slowly, whisking to incorporate.
- Separately, beat egg white to stiff peaks, and gently fold into batter, being careful not to over stir.
- Coat each side of waffle iron with non-stick spray.
- The batter will be too thick to easily pour, so use a large spoon or rubber spatula to scoop batter onto waffle iron. (You decide how much to portion here—as you can see, I over-portion and explode out the sides every time, without fail.)
- Cook until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
Bourbon butter maple syrup
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by about a third, or when desired consistency is reached.
- This will make enough for at least four waffles, if not more, so you may want to experiment with reducing proportions. Or, just make more waffles…